Miracle Berry

The Synsepalum dulcificum.

A small red berry that when eaten will make bitter or sour foods sweet by bonding to the taste buds and changing the way they process the acids. A few weeks ago our friend Brad mentioned that he was growing them, and that when they were ready he’d bring a few in for us to try.

They were finally ready this week. Brad made some recommendations on what to eat/drink with them, so after little Chef Claire got off of work today, we set out some goodies and chewed the berries.

On their own, the berries didn’t have much of a taste. Slight tang, but nothing flavorful to speak of. We rolled them around our palate as we chewed them, trying to coat our tongues with the juice for maximum potency. With such little berries there wasn’t much to go around, but it was worth a shot.

We started by sucking on a lemon; normally a mouth puckering proposition. But as we sucked the juice out of them, it was a pleasant almost candied flavor. We moved to a piece of goat brie. Again, the normally bitter taste of the rind was replaced with a sweeter taste. Now it was time to put up or shut up- vinegar. We pulled out a measuring spoon and began with the dark chocolate balsamic vinegar that Claire picked up at Garcia’s last night. We each took a small sip and instantly noticed almost nothing but the sweetness of the chocolate in the vinegar. All the bitterness was gone, replaced with a sweet chocolatey bite.

Next was apple cider vinegar. We might as well have been drinking apple juice. Pickles and pickle juice, worchesteshire sauce and finally grapefruit juice; everything we tried tasted notably different than we expected. All thanks to a little tiny berry.

Thanks, Brad!